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Is T-Mobile Edge Reliable? Explaining The 2G Connection

Last Updated Oct 5, 2022
t mobile

Our phones connect to data using 5G most of the time, so you may be surprised to see a 2G connection on occasion. For T- Mobile users this will show as “Edge”, or  Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution. In a world that requires us to be constantly connected, our phones work overtime to give us availability. That means sometimes connecting to lower- level networks. So what is T- Mobile Edge and is it reliable?

T- Mobile Edge is the 2G connection that T- Mobile offers when you are in an area without LTE, 4G, or 5G networks. Although there is faster technology, if you are in a low-service area your phone will automatically connect to whatever it can.

Most mobile phones operate at 5G LTE, or Long Term Evolution, but coverage isn’t 100%, especially depending on your specific carrier. Even though T- Mobile has one of the most reliable networks it will sometimes still have to depend on older versions, like 2G if you are in the middle of nowhere. Keep reading to find out exactly what 2G connection is and how it stacks up against other updated networks.

What Is the Purpose Of T- Mobile Edge?

2G networks are available to any cellular company, but T- Mobile optimized it and created Edge. 

Edge was one of the earliest and most efficient internet connection networks and was the standard for a long time.

Many people live, work, or travel through rural areas that don’t offer faster networks than 2G or Edge. If your phone is showing that it’s connected to Edge it just means that that was the best connection at the time.

Edge can support up to 384 Kbps, or kilobit per second. To put that into perspective, GPRS was the network before Edge and can support up to 150 Kbps. Although we have even faster capabilities now, Edge was transformative for mobile data use. 

What’s The Difference Between Edge and 5G?

If you don’t know much about cellular technology it can be confusing to understand the difference between these two. It’s important to clarify that Edge is T- Mobile’s copyrighted and optimized version of 2G. 

2G and 5G are two different types of frequencies that specialize in different things. 2G covers wider areas but is slower. 5G is extremely fast but is not available in as many areas. There are several key things that differentiate 2G from 5G:

  • Age– 2G was widely used by 1999, while 5G is much newer and has been the standard since around 2015.
  • Speed– As we mentioned above 2G can process up to 384 Kbps while 5G can operate up to 10 Gbps, or gigabits per second, which is more than a million times faster.
  • Size of coverage– 2G is more reliable over vast areas, whereas 5G only covers concentrated spots. 

Now you know the difference between 2G and 5G.

What Do to If Your Phone Keeps Using Edge

Throughout your daily use of your phone you may see that it is in Edge mode, which can be confusing considering most of us are on a plan for at least 4G, if not 5G LTE. In this case the only thing you can really do is move to an area that offers better connection, however that should solve the problem instantly.

If that doesn’t work here are some easy steps to solve the problem: 

  • Turn airplane mode on and then off again. Using airplane mode as a simple and quick restart is a good first step. This turns off your phone’s ability to connect to networks.
  • Restart your phone. When airplane mode is not enough to stop your phone from using Edge, try restarting. This often solves the issue by giving your phone a chance to fully disconnect and then connect back.  
  • Make sure your phone is enabled correctly.  You have to have an active cell phone plan that includes 3G, 4G, 5G and LTE connections. Without that the default will be 2G, as that is the only network that your phone will be authorized to use. 

Knowing your options with data connectivity will help you stay on the best networks possible in your area. T- Mobile phones are programmed to use Edge as a backup to maintain some connectivity, so even with all these steps, being in an area that has poor connection will still affect your phone. 

So Is T- Mobile Edge Reliable? 

While the 2G technology of Edge is fairly reliable, it is still slower than other, newer networks. However, even though it may be slower on the Internet or apps, being able to connect to it means that you will still be able to use your phone in low- coverage areas, versus simply having no network at all. It’s a great backup when 5G isn’t available.

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